Sunday, November 14, 2010

The anguish of caring

(Click to enlarge) Here's a picture of all the Kairos participants

11/14/10 Sunday
Yesterday was my youngest son’s birthday. I sent him a card. Don’t know if he got it or appreciated it. This is an anguish I find that I share with many of those in prison, that I visited with Friday and Saturday. They too are distanced from their loved ones through circumstances that include prison and lifestyle choices made in the past. We all have made mistakes in our past. Some of us deal with it and some do not, hardening their hearts and moving on, choosing to not care. Several of the guys at the prison have been motivated to write their family and ask for forgiveness of the things they have done, through the revelations of Jesus and His love brought to them through the Kairos ministry.

It was so good to see my brothers in white again, to learn of the impact Kairos has had on their lives. With that comes an increasing awareness of my responsibility for them, of the power I have, through Jesus, to change and mold lives, to do good and remove evil. It is a burden I choose to take on, one that I know will bring great joy and occasional sorrow. Such is the path of life, joys and sorrows will ever be a part of it. When we chose to adopt and care for the stray dogs that came our way, and in the process love them, with that came great sorrow and pain when they were killed, or in the case of Midnight, died. But there were so many joys in that path, so much pleasure in loving them and providing for their needs, and the reward of knowing we gave them the best years of their lives. Not to compare our brothers in white with dogs, don’t get me wrong on that. It’s just a good way to illustrate this basic truth in life, love comes with pain, or as the song says “Love hurts”.

One of the guys said that he has removed the word love from his dictionary. It’s a word he refuses to use, at least up to now. There is so much healing going on down at the prison now. Lives are changing. That I have anything to do with it is humbling to say the least. And it’s important that I maintain that attitude, for I’ve seen the damage that pride does in the lives of others, of the inflated ego and how distasteful those who puff themselves up become.

Today we will visit our friends at the First Baptist church in Midland. I had contacted Ed regarding getting Gideon bibles for the Stanton jail and he told me that the church is holding a luncheon for those in prison and jail ministry so he invited us to come. That’s as good an excuse as any to see those we’ve grown so close too over the last couple of years. We are both looking forward to that.

Coming home to Cherie is such a joy. Love seeing her smiling face and getting that huge "You've been gone too long" hug. She is a constant reminder of the power of God to restore and recover that which was lost. I will always be grateful and intend to stay amazed by this miracle.

We had our freeze while I was in Fort Stockton. Everything is pretty much gone as far as the garden is concerned. There were four watermelon left so I picked them. We’ll take two to the Sunday school class at First Baptist to give to our friends and another to our Stanton church. The other one we’ll eat, though Cherie isn’t a big watermelon person so I’ll end up eating most of it. I saved seeds from it to plant next year. There are still lots of Jalapeño peppers on the plants so I’ll pick them today. Don’t know for sure but I think they’re still good despite the freeze. There are probably some tomatoes we can recover as well though I didn’t check those plants while I was out there. The Christmas corn is gone, but that’s a chance I knew I was taking when I planted it.

I have lots of work to do now that winter is here. The water system needs to be drained for one. I was anxious when I went out to check on it for I was in Fort Stockton when the freeze hit. Woke up at 3:40 this morning, because I went to bed at 7:00 last night for I was so drained from the Kairos weekend, and that’s when I thought about it. There are fifteen or more plastic faucet heads, each over a foot off the ground, so if any of them had cracked from the freeze they could be spewing water all over the place. Fortunately that didn’t happen but it’s important I take care of this before it does. Then there are weeds to hoe down and burn along with the start of preparing for an early spring planting. We’ll have to scratch to find the money to buy seeds with because of the Treasury Department seizing our CRP payment and income tax refunds. Appealing and fixing all of that mess is still an ongoing process and may take years.

I can’t think of anything else to write for now so that’s it.


Anonymous said...

Loved seeing y'all! Jen

Bob said...

It was great and sad at the same time. Sad because we know we won't be there every week and sure miss all of you. Kind of wrenching when we know we are needed at the other church and suspect God has a reason for us being there. We'll make sure, God willing, to make it to the Christmas party